I’m coming up on two years as a full-time writer. I have spent hours writing words, days editing them and months submitting the resulting stories to appropriate markets. And still I wonder: at what point does a person feel like an author?
When the first acceptance letter comes? I’ve got two, and I still feel like I’m pretending to be an author most days.
When the first paycheck comes? Okay, I can’t really consider that minuscule royalty check a “paycheck.”
When someone asks for an autograph? I’ve signed a couple – for family and friends.
When they get an advance with their sold manuscript?
When they see their book on a best-seller list?
When they must start a Facebook fan page because they have reached the maximum number of friends on their profile?
When they have 5,000 or more followers on Twitter?
When they say their name and someone standing nearby asks, “Are you the Sharon Hughson who wrote this book?”
I keep waiting for a magical moment. I always imagined there would be one. Doesn’t there have to be one?
I’ve dreamed of writing stories that people want to read for most of my life. I’ve been writing stories since I was nine years old (before then, I just told oral tales to my stuffed animals).
I imagined that I would spend my days at a handsome desk. Sunlight would pour over me from a nearby window. Words would spill from my fingers onto the page.
I am living that vision.
The one where a bookcase behind me is filled with titles I wrote? Not yet. It’s only been two years. I do have the proof copy of my sole independently published title on my office bookshelf.
Why do I keep waiting to “feel” like an author?
I can’t imagine Brandon Sanderson waking up in the morning and wondering if he is really an author.
What makes a person reach a point where they consider themselves an author? Please, help me figure this out.